Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Russia Fauna WWF FDC

Russia FDC
Name: Fauna - WWF
Issue date: 2007 October 1st

5.00: Oriental White Stork (Ciconia boyciana)
The Oriental Stork, Ciconia boyciana is a large, white bird with black wing feathers. It is closely related and resembles the European White Stork, of which it was formerly often treated as a subspecies. It is larger than the White Stork, at 1.29 m (4.2 ft) long, a weight of 4.4 kg (9.6 lbs) and a wingspan of 2.22 m (7.3 ft). Unlike its more widespread cousin, the Oriental Stork has red skin around its eye, with a whitish iris and black bill. Both sexes are similar. The female is slightly smaller than male. The young are white with orange bills.

At one time, the Oriental Stork could be found in Japan, China, Korea and Russia. It is now extinct in Japan and South Korea. However, in May 2007 a hatchling was reported in Japan for the first time in 40 years in the wild. It was offspring of two storks who were bred in captivity. After breeding, the storks migrate to eastern China in September and return in March. More...

6.00: Snow Leopard (Uncia uncia)
The Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia or Uncia uncia, sometimes known as the Ounce, is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of central and southern Asia. The taxonomic position of this species has been subject to change. In the past, many taxonomists included the Snow Leopard in the genus Panthera, with several of the other largest felids, but later it was placed in its own genus, Uncia. However, most recent molecular studies place the species firmly within the genus Panthera, although the exact position remains unclear. Along with the Clouded Leopard, it represents an intermediate between so-called big cats and smaller species, as it cannot roar, despite possessing a cartilaginous hyoid apparatus which is thought essential in allowing the big cats to roar.

Well known for its beautiful fur, the Snow Leopard has a soft grey coat with ringed spots and rosettes of black on brown. The fur turns white in the winter. Its tail is heavy with fur and the bottom of its paws are covered with fur for protection against snow and cold. The life span of a Snow Leopard is normally 15-18 years, but in captivity they can live up to 20 years. More...

7.00: Wisent (Bison bonasus)
The Wisent or European Bison (Bison bonasus) (IPA: [ˈviːzənt]) is a bison species and the heaviest land animal in Europe. A typical wisent is about 2.9 m (9.5 ft) long and 1.8–2 m (5.9–6.5 ft) tall, and weighs 300–920 kg (660–2000 lb). It is typically smaller than the related American bison (B. bison), and has shorter hair on the neck, head, and forequarters, but longer tail and horns. Wisents are forest-dwelling. They have few predators with only scattered reports from the 1800s of wolf and bear predation (besides humans). Wisents were first scientifically described by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758. Some later descriptions treat the wisent as conspecific with the American bison. It is not to be confused with the aurochs.

The species is now endangered. In the past they were commonly killed to produce hides and drinking horns, especially during the Middle Ages. More...

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